Photo Illustration by Megan Bender

OPINION: We deserve a W

Drop date deadlines too strict and for students to decide on keeping a class
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Drop date deadlines too strict and for students to decide on keeping a class

As I end my academic career, I reflect on the ways I could have been a better student, and how Humboldt State could have better assisted me in learning and navigating my student experience.

My biggest concern is that academic deadlines need to change. Add/drop dates need to be extended, and reason for withdrawing from a class should not be as difficult as it is. Being a student is more than just being in the classroom — we must also manage learning outside the classroom.

We must learn to navigate on our own for the first time in our lives and learn to provide for ourselves as adults. We need to learn how to balance school and work, and to prosper in both activities. For this reason, academic deadlines should be more flexible for students.

We need more than two weeks to decide whether or not we can stay in a class. We cannot definitely know in two weeks if we can endure a semester’s worth of school and work. We need time to adapt. The add/drop date should be edited to a month rather than two weeks.

If we are unable to stay in a class for whatever reason (personal, fiscal, family, mental or emotional health reasons), it should be our right as students to be able to receive a W in our transcripts. The policy for withdrawals are concrete. According to Humboldt State’s website, the following constitutes a withdrawal from a course:

•Psychological issues

•Inappropriate behavior of someone else in the class

•Severe illness or injury

•Called to military service

•Death of a close family member

•Loss of care of dependents

•Serious reversal of your financial situation

There are even restrictions for what are NOT considered “serious and compelling or catastrophic in nature:”

•Deciding to change majors after the deadline to add/drop classes

•Not being aware of a deadline

•Anticipating you may earn a low or failing grade

•Taking too many units

•Being too busy with other classes to do the work

•Work or extracurricular activities

•Not liking the class

•Not knowing how or when to drop

Of course, this also poses the argument that students should not be working while attending school, but in some cases students do not have the luxury to not work. We need more assistance from our university.

We deserve more from our institution. It is overwhelming enough to be a working student and if it happens that we slip up and cannot keep up with course work, we should be able to receive a W.

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